Avid Is Leader of the AlphaDogs Pack

Terence Curren

BURBANK, CALIF.—AlphaDogs provides graphics, sound, and video editing services from 7,500 square feet of state-of-the-art editing bays, design studios, audio suites, and production offices. We’re continually researching technology trends, investing in new equipment, and developing practical workflows to meet current and future client needs. Yesterday’s cutting-edge is tomorrow’s mainstream, and we have to be ready to help clients navigate their way.

Since founding AlphaDogs in 2002, our mission has been simple—to get the best job done in the most economical way. Post-production budgets continue to decrease, and the big challenge is to work within those budgets without sacrificing quality. We pride ourselves on finding new editing methods that deliver the best finished product quickly and inexpensively.

I’ve been using Avid since the mid-90s, and when I founded AlphaDogs, we were a pure Avid house. We later became one of the first in Los Angeles to offer finishing with Final Cut Pro, but when Final Cut Pro X came out, clients started switching back to Avid, so we began investing in more Media Composer systems. We now have 14 Avid seats including Media Composer and Symphony.

Most of our finishing work is for reality TV shows, but we also do independent features, documentaries and commercials. Every project has a different workflow, but a lot of our clients use a traditional offline/online model. We’re mostly mastering to tape although there’s growing demand for file delivery, which creates more complex workflows.

Reality shows shoot a lot of material— often thousands of hours of footage. We work to tight deadlines with turnaround times of about a week. “10 Million Dollar Big Foot Bounty” is particularly challenging as it’s captured with 120 cameras shooting in several different formats. We rely heavily on Avid systems to get all the shots from each camera to match up.

Most reality shows have more than one editor, so sharing projects is critical. One of the big efficiencies that Avid brings is project sharing via Unity or ISIS. We can have multiple people working on the same project at the same time, and be very tightly integrated. For example, we can have assistant editors doing prep work, a colorist doing color correction, and the finishing editor working on the same sequence simultaneously. That’s pretty much impossible with Final Cut Pro.

There’s also a big advantage to being able to stay within the nonlinear editing program: when you need to trim a shot or fix an effect, especially if the client’s present. The Avid network provides access to offline material to quickly locate alternative takes if needed.

With audiences able to access content for free on the Internet, the biggest question the industry faces is how do you make money? That’s what Avid is trying to help customers address with Avid Everywhere. Avid helps us innovate and fulfill our mission—even in the toughest production environments.

Terence Curren is founder and president of AlphaDogs. He may be contacted attcurren@alphadogs.tv.

For additional information, contact Avid at 818-557-5346 or visitwww.avid.com.